Union Cabinet Clears Bill That Makes 'Triple Talaq' A Criminal Offence

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The Hindu, which accessed the draft bill, reported that a man who practices triple talaq can be jailed for up to three years, and can also attract a fine.

The government had issued a statement on December 01 saying it was considering to make concurrent talaq (instant talaq or triple talaq) a criminal offence under the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, 2017.

According to the Bill, a woman who has been divorced through triple talaq, can seek maintenance from her husband by approaching a magistrate. The bill will now be taken up in the Winter Session of Parliament.

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The bill was drafted following the August 22 verdict of the Supreme Court that set aside the divorce practice and pronounced it unconstitutional. The Union Cabinet met on Friday afternoon and cleared legislation for the same, and the new Bill is expected to be tabled in this Parliament session itself. "Both parents should be considered natural guardians of the child and in case of custody, the principle of "best interest of the child" should apply", Soman said.She added that affirmative Quranic provisions such as right to mehr or property rights should also be codified.

It holds triple talaq in any form-verbal, written or send through electronic means such as an SMS or email - as "illegal and void". "This is the first step in the direction of codified Muslim law and hopefully there will be a discussion in Parliament to make it more comprehensive", said BMMA co-founder Zakia Soman. The bill, introduced after Supreme Court's order, would only be applicable to instant triple talaq or "talaq-e-biddat". Many in the government and opposition have termed it as a progressive bill which fulfills the demands of basic human right for the Indian Muslim women. Many in the community have raised alarm against such bills which brings triple talaq under the criminal offence and its real goal and effect.

It is also learnt that there is a strong dissent among the members of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMLB) and especially some women members are upset over board's handling of the situation.